'Tis the Season... for
That's right, another ghoulish crop of bolted, stitched, re-wired
and re-animated Silvertones is ready for your perusement and amusement.
Perhaps You've Seen this one already in
galleries... if not, prepare for a scare... it's the Frankentoniest of
the bunch, and I'm pretty sure the Kay-made neck is the ONLY actual
Silvertone part on this scarily crafty creature...
Here's a Frankentone that used its power for good instead
of evil, modded by the fine folks at
And in the trippy-dippy department... it's a love-in FULL
of wildly-decorated Silvertones...
This is but a few of the teeming horde that you'll find at our
Mostly Tricks Today... with a treat
to start off with: a fine looking Kay-made 'Aristocrat,'
Kay FHAC w/ C VG $935 Clean, light surface
wear and finish checking, a bit of buckle rash, logo strong, 'S' on
pickguard shows some wear
Let's take a quick trip to Japan, with a rare but 'meh' 1438.
Truth be told, the only reason I'm bringing it to your attention is its
relative obscurity; remember, the 14XX mid-60s series
Teiscos never appeared in any
catalog. I think they were a test to see if Japanese-made guitars would
be accepted by Sears customers.
Teisco MIJ SBEG Bass F $144 Clean,
surface/edge scratches and wear, lower pickguard worn, logo worn, (2)
tuners missing, bridge missing
Here's a severed handful of Frankentones, one completely re-made,
one abandoned mid-mod, and one that is missing its neck and head.
Looks like a repurposed phono amp with chassis #528
59230. Seller/builder dates it to 1957
, and it's been built into a custom head cabinet, with a nice 8" Jensen
built into a custom speaker cabinet. Fine workmanship all around, I'm
kinda surprised it didn't bring its asking price of $220.
Here's a 1449 that the seller was gonna auction off piecemeal
instrument had the most hideous art work all over it." He disassembled
the guitar to part it out, but "the auction didn't go as planned so I
put it back together." Pretty standard failed auction story, right?
Well, here's where things take a turn:
much regret and after three-hour paint removal job by me, I came to
realize the guitar had been painted and signed by none other than
of yes, Star Trek fame... he has signed lots of guitars for events and
charities." So, our seller is now a sad camper that obliterated
something unique that would likely have brought a pretty penny if the
'hideous' artwork had remained intact. However, the few images I found
of Mr. Okuda's autograph bear little resemblance to the signature on the
sidewall of this 1449. So, is this an early signature from Okuda (the
looped 'O' is vaguely similar), a consciously 'neat' sig, a careful tag
that doesn't resemble Okuda's 'normal' handwriting because of the
uneven surface he was writing on, or a pure coincidence? If he, like his
wife Denise, was born in or around 1954, Mr. Okuda could have owned this
guitar as a child. I've got a tweet in to Mr. Okuda, perhaps he'll give
us a shout. ***10/29*** Mr. Okuda did tweet back from my inquiry last
guessing it's someone else."
Seller, you can stop beating yourself up.
Dano SSEG MOD DNS
Finish stripped, NS knobs and knobs missing, pickups covers split, pots
date to late 1960 (!)
Harmony SSEG $46 Body and some parts, no
pickups, (2) knobs missing, cutout for a middle pickup, truss rod
cutout, serial #4782H1420
From the Silvertone World Purely Speculative
Research Department: Quotes, Questions, Theories and
Came across one of these last year, and here's what I wrote at the
"Samick as it ever was? Here's
an oddball from what my research is pointing to be from the early days
of the Samick-made Silvertones. As you know, Sears stopped using the
Silvertone brand name in 1972, and the name had disappeared from the
headstocks of guitars and the front badges of amps a couple years before
that. So, the trademark lapsed and there it lay, until giant Samick (one
of the largest producers of musical instruments then and today) picked
up the trademark for themselves in the '90s. This is a WG59 (Western
Guitar), with a nice sunburst and an adjustable saddle at the bridge,
and a gold 'Silvertone' logo in a font I've never seen used before until
this example showed up on eBay a couple of days ago. It has the
three-piece back typical of more recently-built guitars, and the other
few examples I found mentioned a 'Made in Korea' label (I don't see one
on this example) that lit the Samick bulb in my head. It didn't bring
its asking price of $50, but it did give me a good research run."
So, since THIS WG59 came up the other day, I've tried to dig a little
deeper, and found a
blog post stating that the writer recollects his dad getting it for
him from a Sears outlet store in 1975, which is most puzzling to me
knowing what we know about the timeline of the demise of the Silvertone
name from Sears, and
another blog post just looking for some info. I've also found
a reference to a WG59 with a SEARS logo on the headstock. So, mucho
puzzling to say the least. I'm pretty sure now that my Samick assumption
was/is incorrect, and that possibly this was a Canadian-sold guitar.
Anyway, it's mysteries like this that make Silvertone World a constant
source of fun and surprise to me.
Here's a slot-head classical we came across last year, note the
similarities in the label. The 5-digit model number is indicative of
Simpson-Sears models from our Canadian friends.
Sorry I Haven't checked in in a
week... been mighty busy with a jillion projects. Here are the
fruits of some of my work:
brand spankin' new pages for the
1450, 1451 and
Hallowe'en's gettin' closer... how 'bout a
ghoulish green Silvertone?
Harmony HBEG w/ C MOD $700 Clean,
refinished, NS knobs, bridge, tuners, truss rod cover, pickguard and
newer Bigsby, switch bank needs work
I'm guessing this black-cat-crossed-its-path amp is a 1484. Amp
head and speaker cab were re-built in plywood and 'spray painted back.'
The seller gave a barebones (see what I did there?) description that
owner tried to drill a custom jack but i disconnected it and the
original plugs work fine." and "re-tubed in July."
Dano tube amp and speaker cabinet MOD $380
Scratchy pots, reverb housing in rough shape, rev/trem unmentioned
Haven't seen too many of these lately... wish I could go back in
time to 1958 and order one from the "Wish
Dano SSEG G $550 Clean, edge/surface wear,
some small dings in the sidewalls, logo shows some wear, bottom strap
button broken off
Here's a treat I wish I had more/better pics of... it's a rare
round-bottomed late 40s 600!
Harmony FTAC G $50 Clean, light wear,
'deco' logo strong, binding and back separating near the neck joint, NS
tuners, NS tailpiece added
More finds from the "vintage guitar photo" search...
Dad's strummin' a Martin, but little Jane is rockin' a G chord on her
Silvertone... possibly a late-1940s 600 like the one above!
We can't know for sure, but this could easily be a mid-60s
Kay-made 660 classical our young lady on the porch is pickin'. The badge
that appears near the nut and the peaked headstock sheds doubt, but it's
certainly a related model.
Always fun to see this rare sorta-Explorer-shaped
Airline guitar from the mid-60s. Built by Kay and sold by Monkey Wards,
I kinda wish Sears had picked up on a version of this funky axe. This
one has some nice shiny knobs and chrome hardware, with the original
tailpiece still in place, and went for a fair $529.
A funky machine Sears DID pick up on was this store-only Teisco-built
model 1487. Never seen in any catalog, it still sold quite a few,
judging by today's market.
Teisco MIJ SBEG with sold state onboard amp VG $440
Clean, light wear, logo shows some wear/misapplication (look how the 'S'
is 'broken'), amp non-functional, light rust to tuners
"Vintage Guitar Photo" is an eBay
search that as turned up a few gems recently, a couple of the snapshots
even featuring some shiny Silvertonium!
There are a few batches of photos up for auction right now that
involve musical instruments of some sort, one bunch from from
this eBay seller that revealed a Harmony-built Silvertone
605 hangin' out with some
crooning '50s frat fellers,
another auction that features a snap of a Harmony-built
model 1316 Silvertone lap steel
amongst 'Opal's musical instruments,' and another collection from
Cassie's Tale that had a snapshot of one wildman out in the woods
who might be strumming a 'wind chime' logo'd Silvertone archtop, and one
mystery guitar that was just so wildly decorated I had to give you a
look at it.
Speaking of lap steels, here's a 70+ year old machine that
didn't sell at auction the other day, and it's from the
Supertone/Silvertone borderline in the very late 30s/early 40s. It even
features an amp-in-case setup! The Silvertone model is the 2320... the
Supertone model number? I'm still looking, but since they're identical,
and since every Silvertone-branded 2320 I've seen came with a Supertone
branded amplifier, it may be that this Supertone was never listed in any
catalog. Rare? You bet!
Valco Lap Steel with tube amp/case DNS Clean, light wear,
logo decal worn
EIGHT BILLION DOLLARS in Hallowe'en Spending?!?
estimate for this year. Sheesh. Well, their doesn't seem to be a
lack of cashflow in Silvertone World, either. Check the money on some of
this choice Silvertonium.
Harmony HBEG w/ OC VG $1400 Clean, light
wear, logo intact, hardware shows some oxidation, serial #3956H64
This next dynamic duo sold as a pair, and was available in the '61
and '62 Sears catalog as such, just order part number 1462L2!
Dano tube amp / 1423
Harmony SSEG E $1200 (for both) Clean,
minimal wear, logo intact, amp has red-border control panel with "Tremlo"
misspell, footswitch incl., cabinet stamping indicates late 1962 build,
seller says "Both
pieces came from the same person and was purchased at the same time in
Harmony HBEG w/ OC
Clean, light wear, logo intact, some finish flaking along bottom edge
Relisted, brought $1000
Anybody got some Canadian Simpson-Sears catalogs they want to scan for
me? 60s and early 70s? Anybody?
26932 Teisco MIJ SBEG VG
$500 Clean, light wear, (1) knob missing, whammy and bridge
cover(!) present, serif'd logo strong, Canadian-sold version of the
More MIJ goodness with this rare red 1460!
(Univox? Teisco?) MIJ HBEG VG $252 Clean,
light wear, logo intact
If you break this one down into $/string, it's really a bargain!
Harmony FTAC 12-string VG $300 Clean,
late-era block logo strong, some finish peel at bottom sides
And, so as not to disappoint you Frankentone fans out there, we
have a blue guitar... probably not the one
Wallace Stevens was writing about...
Dano SSEG $79 Body, neck, nut and shielding
support (!), obviously refinished, logo long gone
Sometimes Frankentoning Involves merely a
little... shall we say... redecorating.
Harmony SSEG $375 Clean, some light
striping decoration, selector switch tip missing, possible 'shamed'
logo, recently serviced
Dano SSEG $99 Desert Hummer refinish to
this 14XX body (sidewalls, too!),
switch and shielding still present, no cavity cover, neck (sold logo-
and tuner-less for $199
in separate auction... at least the nut was still there) dates to 1960
Not quite a Frankentone (and certainly not a Silvertone, but it
was sold by Sears), this early '80s vintage MIJ Les Paul™
knockoff certainly features some mad scientist action... phase, wah,
fuzz, tremolo, echo and something called 'whirlwind' all built in!
1489 MIJ SBEG VG $208
Clean, some wear, seller says "Special effects seem to
work well, but the
speed dial does not seem to change the tremolo."
Here's the 1983 Sears Wish Book listing for this Mission Control
guitar, spec'd as the model 1488 in this catalog.
Here's a 'Jumbo' Kay-built 620 that was only available for a year
from Sears & Roebuck; it's the 'upgraded' sibling to the popular
FTAC G $399 Clean, light surface wear, logo
intact, NS tuners, strap button missing, 'JH' scratched into top bass
side near bridge, stamped L9280 8111,
seller says "...it's
still very sturdy and very playable. The action is ok on the open chords
but gets a little high further down the neck. It measures 1/4" at the
This Harmony-made guitar sports a unique (in the Silvertone
family) headstock, and actually has a blonde sibling, the 692. Never
Harmony FHAC G $152
Clean, some surface scratches/wear, crack on bass side upper bout
repaired/retouched, 'deco' logo lightly worn, serial #3901H694
There's No Stoppin' 'Em! Today, we've got
an oh-so-subtly Frankentoned Dano-built bass, and UKEMANIA continues
Dano SSEG Bass w/ OC MOD $500 Clean, neck
refinished, knobs/sidewalls bright, logo intact, NS tuners, mysterious
additional access plate on back, pots date to 1964
This late-era MIJ uke (that confusingly shared a number with the
last of the Harmony-made 1255s) sold with a sweet little Harmony-branded
plunker with a cool musical staff legend on the body (and a little crack
on top below the bridge).
1255 MIJ Ukulele G $58
(for pair) Clean, some wear, block logo
strong, light wear on soundhole decal,
K10314 scratched onto the back of the neck near the heel, seller says
small doink on the bass side has caused an indent about 1” long and a
crack about 2” long."
This baritone Harmony-made uke is beautifully kept, with its
original faux-gator case and a cool little Czech-made tuner! The old
school logo points to this being from the late 40s/early 50s.
Harmony Baritone Ukulele w/ OC VG $225
Clean, light wear, logo strong, light fingerboard wear
And, if you're goin' to Jupiter... pack a rain jacket... this 1423
came with the frequently MIA protective cover.
Harmony SSEG w/ OC VG $600 Clean, light
wear, logo intact, pickguard legends strong, plenty of glitter
Well, We've Seen Some Uglies... Here's a Beauty!
It's one of the best 1350 models I've ever seen, and it's mighty fine.
Look at that shiny pickup! The logo laminate! The faux tortoise binding!
The tuners have been swapped out, and a cheaper tailpiece subbed in...
but it's still a terrific example of this late 40s/early 50s
Harmony HBEG VG $875 Clean, light wear,
logo laminate looks great, NS tuners, NS tailpiece, stamped S-49
We saw one of these 'Thin Twin' models the other day sporting a
new paint job, but it's good to see one in stock shape.
Kay HBEG w/ OC VG $781
Clean, light wear, logo laminate and pickguard design in great shape,
tuner buttons shrinking
Eeeek!! Here's a mildly Frankentoned 1488...
Harmony SBEG MOD $600 Clean, edge/surface
wear, light checking, lamination line showing at headstock, logo shows
some wear, NS tuners (originals incl.), NS bridge, NS tailpiece with no
whammy bar (original assembly w/ bar incl.), (1) knob missing
How about a
doppelgänger for the
Country Gentleman 6122?
Univox MIJ w/ OC VG $437 Could use a
cleaning, light wear, logo intact, goldtone finish shows a little
Here's a couple of parts for some Frankentoning of your own...
UNK MIJ Tailpiece $18
Nice to see what's going on inside of 'em
Kay Pickup assembly DNS Pickup silkscreen
show light wear, NS chicken heads, pots/pickup dated 1965
Funny How These Frankentones just
seem to pop up for us during October, and here's a wild one! It's a
'Wish Book' only model 1304 that's been bumblebee'd to the max!
you can still buy it!
Dano SSEG Refinished in yellow/black stripes, a little grunge to the
pickup cover and bridge, looks like stress cracks in top at bridge
attach, logo (obviously) gone, access panel bar missing, pots date to
Here's a mildly 'Frankentoned' Kay-made banjo, the 761, the first
banjo made available after World War II. Aside from the eagle decals on
the resonator, it's also been modified with Ball (looks like) brand
cam-type tuners, giving the player the ability to quickly switch between
tunings. These look like an early attempt at the 'Keith
Tuners' and their
variants that are available today.
Kay Banjo MOD $399 Clean, light wear, early
chimeless 'wind chime' logo worn, eagle decals to back of resonator,
headstock modified for 'key change' tuners, seller says "HOMEMADE
PLASTIC ARMREST, VERY COOL OLD PLASTIC. RESONATOR IS BOUND TOP AND BACK
AND HAS FIVE EAGLE DECALS. LOTS OF BUMPS AND BRUISES AND FINISH CHIPS,
PRETTY TYPICAL FOR THE VINTAGE. ALL METAL PARTS ARE SHOWING THE PROPER
TARNISH FOR AGE. FRETS ARE IN OK CONDITION, ONLY WEAR SHOWING ON FIRST
TWO FRETS. FINGERBOARD HAS A LITTLE WEAR, NOTHING VERY BIG AS FAR AS
RUTS. THE PEGHEAD FINISH HAS GATORED AND THEIR IS EVIDENCE OF AN OLD
HEADSTOCK CRACK. THE OLD REPAIR IS VERY STABLE...... SOUND-WISE IT'S
REAL OBNOXIOUS, BANJO GUYS ALWAYS TELL ME THE LOUDER THE BETTER."
Now, in other matters... it's UKEMANIA! Well, two, anyway...
Harmony Ukulele VG $60 Clean, 'skier'
screenprint and logo strong and clean, brown bakelite fretboard
Harmony Ukulele VG $46 Clean, light wear,
three hairline cracks on back, block logo strong, swirled faux tortoise
An seldom-seen steel came
our way recently... it's the Kay-made 1313 with the snazzy lightning
Kay Lap Steel MOD $695 Clean. light wear,
logo laminate looks good, NS knobs, NS tuners, new jack (original
screw-type jack incl.)
Check the comparison with the seller's Sherwood branded steel:
Little Somethin' For Your Weekend... Some
nice nuggets of Silvertonium AND Frankentonium up from the mines
First up, an odd 'Frankentone' that is most puzzling...
standard humbucker with bezel and some vintage-knobs added... but the
logo is quite unusual; at first, I thought the photo was elongated, but
the tuner ferrules in the headstock shot are perfectly round. Front and
back bound, bound neck (!), but this is NOT a stock Silvertone color.
It's certainly a refinish, see the edge around the headstock where the
painter 'saved' the logo? So, I throw my hands up and give it an 'UNKnown!'
I wish the seller had spec'd any inside stamping... ah, well.
UNK UNK MOD $203
Clean, light wear, refinish
MORE Frankentone-iness, I say! Is it a Harmo-metal bound
early 1384 Silvertone 'Black
Beauty?' Is it a Harmony-branded
The seller uses the phrase "1955
Silvertone Espanada H63," and gives no other clues to this guitar's
name/brand heritage. Its been completely refinished (beautifully!), new
pickups, new bridge, new pickguard and pickup surrounds, and... new
neck, so no logo!
UNK Harmony HBEG MOD
$1248 Clean, minimal wear
Harmony SSEG VG $806 Clean, light wear,
logo shows some wear (suspiciously only
on the 'Silver,') pickguard legends strong, plenty of glitter, restored
Lawman Mike's shop
1477 Harmony SBEG w/ OC
VG $355 Clean, light wear, logo strong, scratch of bass side
10-4, good buddies!
We've had a pretty good start to October this year, so let me lay
out some of the fine Silvertonium that's come our way...
First up, this nicely restored 'Thin Twin' from the fine folks at Kay by
way of Burning River Guitars...
Kay HBEG w/ C MOD $1400 Clean, restored
(looks like at least a refinish of the 'burst), pickguard and logo
laminate look good, little bit of grunge to pickup chrome
Next up, the ever-popular (and pricey) 'Chris Isaak, the venerable
1446. Also, remember to check out the
all-new 1446 page!
Harmony HBEG VG $1167 Clean, light wear,
logo strong, finish touchup at headstock, slight crack on lower treble
Check out the auction for a great bit of Delta blues played on this
guitar by its
seller; great stuff!
Harmony FHAC w/ C VG $299 Clean, light
wear, logo strong
We'll go electric one more time today with this rare 1449, the
first double-pickup ampincase offered (briefly) by Sears.
Dano SSEG VG $530 Clean, some edge/surface
wear, logo strong, neck pickup cover split, some finish rub on treble
side of both pickup cutouts, lamination line showing on headstock, dent
to top near bass 'horn,' Chicago Telephone Supply pots date to Spring
Time To Get Your Pick On! The
pick store is back with classic
black 'thin script' logos on a white matte-finish Delrin pick.
Our first batch sold out fast, so get 'em while they're hot!
Make sure to visit
we saw some great stuff as fall got underway!
/ MANUFACTURER / INSTRUMENT TYPE /
CONDITION / PRICE /
Abbreviations: M-Mint, NM - Near Mint, E-
VG- Very Good, G- Good , F-Fair, P-Poor, NS-
HBEG- Hollow Body Electric, FHAC- F-Hole Acoustic, FTAC-
Flat-Top Acoustic, SBEG- Solid Body Electric, SSEG-
Semi-Sold Electric, MIJ- Made In Japan, MOD - Modified
significantly from stock, w/ O/C Original / Case, DNS -
Did Not Sell; used mainly to show an item of interest whether it sold or
Unless otherwise noted, I'm rating them by what I see in the pictures
and read in the description.
The items depicted on this page are not for sale by Silvertone World.
These are reviews of items from completed ebay auctions on or around the
Links in blue
open in a new window, and take you to a Silvertone World info page, a
period catalog listing, or a link of interest.